COUNTRIES: Portugal; Spain
CONDUCTED BY: School of Agriculture, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal; Departamento de Producción Vegetal, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain; Laboratory of Bromatology and Hydrology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Porto University, Portugal.
PUBLISHED ON: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
The present study was conducted to determine the major bioactive lipid components of the seed oils of nine pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) cultivars grown in Spain, namely fatty acids, vitamin E and sterol compositions. The seeds yielded oil contents ranging from 4.44% to 13.70% of dry matter and showed high contents of polyunsaturated fatty acids (86.7.2–90.3%). The predominant fatty acid was 9,11,13-octadeca-trienoic acid (punicic acid), a conjugated linolenic acid characteristic from pomegranate seeds, with contents between 3523 and 10,586 mg/100 g of seeds. Total tocopherol contents ranged from 135 to 525 mg/100 g of oil, with γ-tocopherol as the main component, and with different compositional ratios between varieties. Concerning sterols in the oil, total amounts ranged from 364 to 553 mg/100 g, with a predominance of β-sitosterol. After performing principal component analysis, intercultivar differences were found, a potential tool for cultivar authenticity purposes. Moreover, the ingestion of pomegranate arils, with their seeds, increases their beneficial health properties.